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Honorary CBE for Head of Cutting Edge Research Centre

John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, presented an honorary CBE to Professor Gerhard Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source Ltd for services to science.

Professor Materlik, a German citizen, received his award on Monday 26 November at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

As Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source Ltd from its inception, Professor Materlik has been responsible for the delivery and operation of Diamond, which is the largest scientific facility to be built in the UK for 40 years.

Mr Denham said:

"From the start of construction in March 2003 to the facility welcoming its first users in January 2007, Professor Materlik's leadership and vision has been fundamental to Diamond's successful completion on time, on specification and on budget.

"Science in this country has benefited enormously from Professor Materlik's talents and it gives me great pleasure to present him with this honour".

Professor Materlik's strategic vision has been demonstrated throughout his career in synchrotron science which began at DESY, the German Electron Synchrotron, in 1974 and he has been involved in the development of a number of other synchrotron radiation facilities around the world, including, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and Japan's Spring-8 facility.

He has also published around 200 scientific papers in the fields of diffraction, imaging and spectroscopy with x-rays, and synchrotron radiation source developments. His contributions have been recognised by his peers and he was honoured in 2002 with the Röntgen-Prize of Würzburg University for his outstanding contributions to the development of modern x-ray methods and sources. Professor Materlik also received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Reading University in 2004.


Notes to Editors

  1. Diamond is a third generation light source and can be described as a series of "super microscopes". It is housed in a futuristic doughnut-shaped building which covers the area of 5 football pitches. Diamond will ultimately host up to 40 cutting edge research stations, called beamlines.
  2. The synchrotron light that Diamond produces can be used to study a wide variety of things - from potential cures and treatments for diseases to pollution solutions, and from aircraft components to ancient artefacts. The combination of high intensity, the ability to focus to less than micron size (one thousandth of a millimetre) and the wide energy spectrum makes it a preferred tool for the study of the structure of matter.
  3. As Professor Materlik is not a British citizen John Denham is presenting the award on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
  4. For media enquiries only please contact Matt Barker in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) press office on 0203 300 8126 or Jane Bevan / Ruth Harman at Firebird Public Relations on 01235 835297.